Within Temptation: Sharon den Adel on ‘Resist,’ Technology + Women in Metal

2019-02-18

Within Temptation interview – Story by Anne Erickson, photo by Arjan Kremer

Within Temptation vocalist Sharon den Adel chats with Anne Erickson about the band’s new album, “Resist,” working with Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach and more in this in-depth interview

Within Temptation is back with their latest studio album, the stunning “Resist,” which sees Sharon den Adel and the crew fusing their metal legacy with new styles and sounds. The theme of the album revolves around modern technology and how it consciously — or sub-consciously — controls humans’ lives, which is an extremely relevant topic today.

Sharon spoke with Anne Erickson from Audio Ink about the theme of “Resist,” how social media impacts her life and her thoughts on being a woman in hard rock and metal. Read the full interview below, and find Within Temptation online via Resist-Temptation.com.

Anne Erickson: Congratulations on the new Within Temptation album, “Resist.” The message revolves around breaking free from technology. Why you were inspired to create an album about the influence of technology on our daily lives?

Sharon den Adel: Over the last 10 years, I’ve realized that the world has changed a lot, since technology and social media are getting more and more to a point of influencing our lives. It’s something that I can really get fired up about, because I think it’s so dangerous. People are addicted to their phones and social media. We, of course, have to use those for our band, and we also like some aspects of technology, but there are downsides, too. It was a nice inspiration and source to talk about.

How has social media personally influenced your life?

I think it’s a big influence, because I need to use it for the band to reach out to fans, and I do like this element. But, I don’t like some of the companies behind it and what they’re doing with content, and I think we should be more aware of it. I don’t put up photos of my children or family members, and I don’t like to put them on the Internet, or if I do, it’s not a clear picture. I want to keep as much private as possible. For me, I’m out there on every picture, and people know me, but I think everybody has a right to grow up without people having an opinion about you, and I think once you post something, it’s not very clear how to get rid of certain content on the Internet, too.

How do you use social media in Within Temptation to connect with fans?

For me, when I work with the band, I try to use it in a positive way, but I’m always aware of the downside of it. I don’t put too much personal stuff up there, because you never know where it’s going to end up. It’s a dangerous thing, and while some countries have a democracy, there are other counties where it is used by the government in negative ways, too. You never know, plus if you put up where you are going and when, it’s too much information for too many people to get their hands on.

You have Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach on the song “The Reckoning,” which is so great. What brought that collaboration together?

I met him on a big festival in Belgium, and our bands were next to each other backstage, and I would run into him. I’ve known the band since they started out and always liked their music, so I always listened to the albums they were releasing and developments there were making. In a way, they’re like us in that they always wanted to try different things and a new direction musically and go along with the time and changes of music. So, we bumped into each other and had a nice conversation about artwork, actually. When we wrote this album and “The Reckoning,” I said, “It would be great to have Jacoby on this one. We met him. Maybe he would like it!” We sent the song to him, and it was nice to have contact again with him, and we had Skype meetings, which is a positive thing from the Internet. Also, you can send files directly to each other with no time delay. Because he wasn’t able to come over here to record, he recorded in their studio while they were making their album.

“Resist” has been described as a “futuristic take on metal,” and you’ve talked about listening to a diverse range of music for inspiration and stepping outside of classic metal riffs and orchestrations. Tell me about that.

I did a solo project before the “Resist” album, and before we started on my solo album, the producer and I were talking about which direction we should go, and it was influenced by urban music and singer-songwriter stuff and hip-hop, and that made me look again at different kinds of music. I learned from that, and I think we took certain elements from that and brought it to our world. The rhythms changed, because we listened to different music, and the vocal lines and timing also changed. I think that was one of the reasons this album turned out the way it did.

I always enjoy talking with other women involved with heavy music. What has been your overall experience being a woman in metal?

I do think it’s different. Sometimes, there a negative. I put out a tweet last week about a magazine that is here, and they always, when I’m in the magazine, want to emphasize that I’m a mother and in metal. How can it be? (Laughs) It’s the strangest thing! But I’ve never heard anybody in metal or rock call the guys “metal daddy.” They called me “metal mommy!” I love to be a mom, and I’m proud to be a mom and be in metal, and I love metal and rock music and am proud to be in metal and rock. How did you get the idea to be amazed about that? Because so many women now days, even though we are still outnumbered, there are many women in metal. The guys in the bands, they never call them, “metal daddy” or “metal grandpa,” but it happens to me every time. It’s 2019! It’s not like we’re in the dark ages. I tweeted about it, and it got a really nice conversation about it, and people were for it and against it, but that’s democracy, and I like that. I was trying to make a point that it got to me, because it wasn’t the first time. It happens a lot.

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